The Age of Candy Enlightenment

This was The Tackler’s fourth Halloween.

2007 – Found the wrappers more interesting than candy.

The first year, he was a pumpkin – sort of.  He was only eight months old, so we just said “hi” to a few neighbors and then returned home sans candy to pass on the Iowa Trick-or-Treating Tradition.

2008 – Animal crackers rule.

At 20 months old he was a monkey.  We went trick-or-treating in our small 1x1x1x1 block neighborhood with my awesome neighbor and her son (who was six months older).  While The Tackler was hesitant, having an older child demonstrate the vital Trick-or-Treating skill of How to Ring the Bell helped tremendously. After about two houses, my normally bursting with energy child decided his legs were tired and CG and I took turns pushing him to the doors in a small stroller.  As his vocabulary had only recently started to explode, the words “trick-or-treat” were not yet a part of his dictionary.  However, he did say “thank you” as various forms of sugar were deposited into his little bag.  The only “candy” consumed that year were bags of animal crackers, which he recognized instantly.

Everything else we ate. And by we, I mean anyone not The Future Tackler.

2009 – Would rather perform, admire decorations, or play at friend’s house.

The third year, he was Buzz Lightyear version 2.5.  We attended a Halloween gathering at my friend Rama’s house and went trick-or-treating in her neighborhood with kids one or more years older. While we started off together, The Tackler quickly fell behind as he stopped to admire the Halloween decorations and give performances.  At one point as we were walking along, he stopped suddenly, plopped down on the sidewalk, hung his head dejectedly and said, “I’m just a stupid toy…”

Hysterics ensued, as the adults nearly collapsed onto the ground at his perfect rendition of Buzz.

Lil’ Diva, at 1.5 months old, was a very cranky ghost and had to be worn around in the baby carrier or held.  Constantly.

The Tackler probably would have “discovered” candy this year, as his friends were already wise to this delicious sugar, but he was too distracted by the joys of playing at his friend’s house to really think about what he’d just collected in his bag.

The only candy consumed that year was once again, animal crackers.  CG and I “took care” of the rest of the loot.  Again.

2010 – Enter the Year of Sugar and Candy Enlightenment 

An attempt at a group shot of all the kids - minus Yoda

Snow White displays early skills for trick-or-treating.

It was unavoidable.

Most of the previous nine months of 2010 involved Potty Training A Boy Who Would Rather Go in His Diaper.  Bribery of many forms was used, including three various types of sugary goodness: Reeses Pieces, M&Ms, and Skittles.

You might say the candy was “already out of the bag.”

Yes, I did just go there. 🙂

So by the time The Tackler attended two Spooktaculars the week of Halloween, he had already discovered what delicious sugary goodness was hidden beneath the colorful wrappers.

Once again, we attended a gathering at my friend Rama’s house, this time all in costume: CG as CG from 16 years ago, Me as Zombie Without White Makeup, The Tackler as Buzz Lightyear version 3.5, and Lil Diva as Snow White.

Not one theme overlap among us: total chaos.

We switched to a bag after technical difficulties with last year's plastic pumpkin.

Our costumes were just like our personalities: all over the place and chaotic.  No planned theme for us.

It was a perfect Texas night – a dry 70 degrees with a faint breeze.

Due to our location, we actually had to drag The Tackler out for trick-or-treating – he hadn’t had the opportunity to play here in a while and was in Toy Heaven.

It didn’t take long for the memories to come flooding back on How To Get Candy.

"How about I poke you in the eye..."

His step was much faster this year, but once again he fell behind the older Sprint for Candy Kids.  After all, he had to stop and admire the cool decorations.

The big shocker this year was Lil Diva -who at 13.5 months – took great pride in carrying her tiny bag and collecting things to put in it. Sometimes it was candy at the door. Other times it was a leaf or acorn that struck her fancy.  She was in heaven, at the perfect age where the costumes didn’t scare her, strangers didn’t scare her, loud noises didn’t scare her.

The only thing that struck fear into her little heart was a barking dog, continuing her I Find You Fascinating and Really Want To Pet You But If You Get Within Five Feet or Bark I Will Scream Bloody Murder behavior.

Both children collected copious amounts of candy – far more than I ever really wanted them to have – even though The Tackler quit way before the older kids to return to Toy Heaven.

She caught on very quickly...

He has now plowed through most of it: he’s allowed to have a piece after lunch and after dinner If He Listens and Is Nice To His Sister.  Several were permanently confiscated as punishment during the Testing The Terrible Three and Halves days. His favorites: chocolate candy, suckers, and the gummy body parts – consumed in that order.

And Lil Diva? Well, she loves chocolate and anything with sugar, but her candy has “been taken care of” in the same way that The Tackler’s was several years ago.

I have the tighter pants to prove it.

I fear that by next year she will already be Candy Enlightened as the trend continues to Learn from the Older Sibling Before Mommy is Ready For Said Knowledge to be Acquired.

Maybe I can think of a good theme for everyone by then…


About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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2 Responses to The Age of Candy Enlightenment

  1. Awesome memories! My children were all candy enlightened from an early age. Which is good because it meant less candy for me. And bad because it meant less candy for me.


    • Kelly K says:

      Amy – I agree, there is a small perk to Candy Enlightenment – less for me – although I am a candy snob, so I tend to only eat those pieces rather than the entire bag. Twix, kit-kats, reeses pieces/cups, and nerds are my favorites. 🙂 Still, being enlightened has made checking out at the grocery store so much more difficult now that he knows what’s inside the wrappers.

      I agree about the memories. I don’t want to forget beautiful, fun nights like that. And with this Mommy Brain I certainly will if I don’t write about it.

      Thank you for reading!

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